Sunday, March 11, 2012

Week 3 of the 12 Week Challenge (and a recipe)

Week 3 is here! How did you do with Week 2? It was tough for me! 

So we are going to keep up Weeks 1 & 2. Get your water, vitamins, workouts and no food 3 hours before bedtime. 
(That was a struggle!)

This week will be adding the Strong Start. 

Part 1 of this challenge will be to start your morning 15 minutes earlier than usual. 
This will be an especially big change if you are like me and my husband who jump out of bed at the last possible second. It does not give us time to relax in the shower, or make room for anything that might not go as planned. 

Spend part of that 15 minutes stretching your fingers, toes, legs, arms, neck, back, and shoulders while taking some deep breathes. This enhances the blood flow to your muscles and joints and de-stresses you first thing in the morning. I bet your body will start to feel more limber and you will notice some little aches and pains fade away by the end of the week. 

Part 2 of this week's challenge is to EAT BREAKFAST EVERYDAY. 
I am not saying that you need 2 eggs, home fries and toast everyday. That would not necessarily be the healthiest choice, although I do enjoy a nice hearty breakfast like that on Saturday mornings. 
My breakfast of choice for the work week is a Nutri-Grain bar. I like the blueberry best! 
These are inexpensive and easy to grab on the go. (Don't forget your bottle of water!)
Special K Bars and  Fiber One Bars are also good choices. 
Or sit down to a nice bowl of cereal. Kashi brand cereals are all good choices. I especially like Kashi Go-Lean Crunch. Fiber One Frosted Shredded Wheat is probably my favorite though. Try not to choose a sugary kid's cereal. And please for the love of all things... don't grab a Pop Tart!!!
You might as well eat a cheeseburger. 
Fresh fruit is also a good choice. You can grab a banana or an apple and hit the road for work. 
Although, I heard a nutritionist once say, "Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and supper like a pauper." See, breakfast kick starts your metabolism. After being in a fast all night long, your body needs breakfast to keep it functioning at the best level possible. 
WebMD points out that breakfast eaters usually have lower cholesterol level, they have more focus and improved performance on the job and at school, and breakfast eaters tend to weigh less than breakfast skippers. You also tend not to "graze" on unhealthy snacks all day long because you had a strong start to your day with breakfast. 

If you are already eating breakfast, then I challenge you to make healthier breakfast choices. Measure your helpings, pick low-fat or no-fat milk. Cut out sugary cereals and pastries. Try to get some protein if you can. 

I challenge you to START STRONG this week!  ( I think this is a pretty relaxed challenge after last week! )

If you are looking for a healthy recipe to try, I will share my favorite way to eat asparagus. If you think you don't like asparagus, try it this way! A student's parent shared this recipe with me a few years ago. 

1 bunch of fresh asparagus (or one bag of frozen)
1 TBSP of margarine or butter
2 hard boiled eggs
8 Ritz crackers
 2 TBSP milk
salt and pepper

Cut asparagus into one inch strips. ( I usually dispose of the very bottom pieces because they tend to be hard.)
If you are using frozen, cut them after you steam them.
Steam the asparagus in the microwave with a little water.
Mix in margarine.
Chop eggs and crush crackers over the asparagus.
Add milk, stir. 
Season with salt and pepper.

This makes about 6 good size servings. 
It has about 76 calories per serving and 5 carbs. This makes a great side dish or afternoon snack!

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